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Psychol Aging. 2016 Feb;31(1):82-8. doi: 10.1037/pag0000062. Epub 2015 Dec 7.

A culture-brain link: Negative age stereotypes predict Alzheimer's disease biomarkers.

Author information

1
Social and Behavioral Sciences Division, School of Public Health, Yale University.
2
Longitudinal Studies Section, Translational Gerontology Branch, Gerontology Research Center, National Institute on Aging.
3
Laboratory of Epidemiology and Population Sciences, National Institute on Aging.
4
Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, Yale University.
5
Departments of Pathology and Neurology, Johns Hopkins Medical School.
6
Laboratory of Behavioral Neuroscience, National Institute on Aging.

Abstract

Although negative age stereotypes have been found to predict adverse outcomes among older individuals, it was unknown whether the influence of stereotypes extends to brain changes associated with Alzheimer's disease. To consider this possibility, we drew on dementia-free participants, in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging, whose age stereotypes were assessed decades before yearly magnetic resonance images and brain autopsies were performed. Those holding more-negative age stereotypes earlier in life had significantly steeper hippocampal-volume loss and significantly greater accumulation of neurofibrillary tangles and amyloid plaques, adjusting for relevant covariates. These findings suggest a new pathway to identifying mechanisms and potential interventions related to the pathology of Alzheimer's disease.

PMID:
26641877
PMCID:
PMC4853823
DOI:
10.1037/pag0000062
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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